Friday, October 26, 2012
Reiflin came up to support him.I know these guys are all heavies, but the consistency of their back-up band offerings are not lighting my inner torch. I have enjoyed the same style of show from Robyn and his same NW crew for several go-rounds now. Its a big friend-fest, but I long for some new direction from RH that will blow my mind, something different, either solo or with some stranger musical amalgamation. Maybe I should have submitted my request on a bar napkin - a nasty note, requesting his submission to this particular fan's needs, but no. I understand the complexities of balancing the delivery of music-by-rote when life's other demands seem to be beating the louder drum. I just like it when my heroes evolve and indulge their whimsy in new ways. Oh well, I am a hypocrite - I like the greatest hits package-shows too. I am real happy that I even went. It's a struggle against habit to go out sometimes, but we all need to be reminded of what the other people in our town look like, what they drink, how they talk, how they smell and also how they comment to their friends about music that you are intimate with. People always talk about 'Portland hipsters', but honestly most everyone looked pretty normal at last night's show. Normal, middle-aged-and-younger crowd, wearing sweaters and glasses. I always feel like a geek inside when I go mentally through my day; turns out I am just one of many geeks. Viva geek homogenization!
Monday, October 15, 2012
Sunday, July 01, 2012
Monday, May 07, 2012
Ok, I am over being in a new town. I am ever-so-slightly settled into my new life in Portland with the family. Work has started to settle down and also to make sense, which I was afraid would never happen - very scary it was to switch jobs mid-stream. I was prepared to go back to square one and start back at the bottom rung of the company ladder, but for some reason I seem destined to land squarely in the mid-level of the job, even if I try to jump downwards and miss. One of the things I am most pleased about has been learning how to use the smaller, stand-up forklifts. These things are cool - more highly maneuverable than the standard sit-down forklifts, they are also quite a bit more squirrel-y, and take a light touch. It was terrifying at first, making a near-fool of myself while learning something new, especially having to do it in plain sight of several younger, more-skilled forklift drivers who are constantly buzzing about, making me look like a mid-aged slowpoke. Oh well! I guess that feeling a fool comes at all stages of life, but the older you get, the less you worry about it. After a few weeks, I've definitely gotten better, but lets just say...I don't push my limits when I'm putting a heavy pallet of citrus in a 25-foot-high warehouse rack. My main focus is to manage the capacity of the warehouse so that there will be room for everyday s incoming products, which would make perfect sense if there actually was any space to manage! Scratch that - the space to manage is small and shrinking, so every bit of space that can be utilized must BE utilized, and I've got to use my imagination. It sounds corny, but this position is the first time I've really been into my job for a long time and I am grateful for the change. In other news...Tina and I had a wonderful weekend of socializing and kid-herding. Friday, our friends Father Don and his gal Cameron came over for a lovely, inspired Tina-cooked dinner consisting of spanikopita and veggies. Delightful! We stayed up late, drinking (and spilling) wine and listening to records and also playing with our household's duel Casio SK1's - the perfect nerd-party-hacker toys. Many electronic topics were discussed before our friends left late by cab. Saturday, again we had dinner with friends, this time the Kaleidoscopic Keoghs and Shanahans - Tina's bandmates from the Homemakers and their respective significant others. Pork was feasted upon, along with several more liters of wine. Brian K and I later head out to see Pellet Gun's LP release
at the Know on Alberta street, where of course we ran into a bunch of ex-Eugene people. There is, like, an entire island of ex-Eugenians here in Portland; no wonder it still feels like home. Pellet Gun rocked it; the crowd was really digging their sparse, dynamic indie rock and the sound was perfect for the small room at the Know. If you haven't checked out Pellet Gun in awhile, now is your chance. If you are interested in buying their cool slab of vinyl, it is available here. Ok lads and ladies, take care and have fun. I will speak to you telepathically thru the interwebs at some other point on the continuum. Spock Hand, Ed
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Friday, February 10, 2012
And my friends in FASTERS just posted a new ep on their bandcamp page:
Tuesday, February 07, 2012
I went to see Dengue Fever and Secret Chiefs 3 last night at the WOW hall here in beautiful Eugene, Oregon. I've missed Secret Chiefs the last two times they've played here, so I was determined to go to this show - I found a sitter for the little 'uns at the last minute and headed down to the show on my bike. I paid my way and then walked into the show. Dengue Fever was already on, and the crowd was thick for a Monday night. DF struck me as a mix of American surf-rock with a little bit of Asian influence, musically-speaking. The vocalist, Chhom Nimol, was great; the most memorable part of the set for me was her solo vocal introduction to a pop song sung in Kmher - a soulful, mournful sound that was nonetheless very lifting, and when the band came in to complete the arrangement, the sound was crushing and full. A fun act, very energetic with the bassist and guitarist pogo'ing a lot, keeping the energy high, but they didn't knock me out the way I hoped they would. Still I give them a solid B. Secret Chiefs 3 were another story. I've been familiar with trey Spruance's work since I first heard Mr. Bungle's Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny demo waaay back in High School. I confess: I was a Mr. Bungle groupie for a spell and followed the band and it's related spin-offs pretty well over the years. SC3 is one of the best associated projects from the Mr. Bungle genom, and I have given them an ear for the past decade or so. "Middle-eastern gothic-furf-rock" is the first thing that comes to mind when scrambling for a description of SC3. They did not disappoint, hurtling into an un-introduced set of complicated, odd-time music with abandon. Trey and company hit the metaphysical nail on the head in their quasi-anonymous hoods and face-scarves. I wish I knew for certain who the other members of the band were last night - I could of sworn that it was Danny Heifitz on drums underneath that hood - but suffice it to say they were top-notch players who must be having fun playing Spruance's crazy fuckin' music. Here is a pic of a couple of Secret Chiefs fans:
and here is Dengue Fever:
Thursday, February 02, 2012
Classic rock figures heavily into my imprinted memories of growing up in Gasquet. I don't actually think any of my siblings actually played Steve Miller Band around the house, but of course, SMB was ubiquitous in the 1970s. In my mind's eye, when I think of those hot, summer days near the Smith river, I think of my brother Mike in cut-off shorts, shirtless, riding a 10-speed with his interesting pack of partier friends, acting out some high school drama, chasing the feathered-hair beauties of the time and drinking stolen beer, jumping in the river or peeling out in whatever kind of car or truck was available. I do have snippets of true memories - being over at Brett F's house, looking at the 45 of Blondie's Heart of Glass and listening to it again and again on Brett's stereo; sleeping in the upper shelf of my sister's closet before I had my own room; playing a ukelele along with a dixieland jazz band that played in my mom's living room while a raging party ensued. That was the good stuff, and although my memory is not complete, somehow it ends up being linked to the guy that sang the Joker and Big Ol' Jet airliner. Here is the best cover version of the song by the Arcata band One Man Running from 1992:
I will hit this subject more clearly soon - I know it might be boring to read my fuzzy recollections in their present state - next time I will focus more on the 1980s and my own trials and tribulations in small-town Gasquet - Mountain School, my first band and maybe some images if I can scrape some up.
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Friday, January 27, 2012
Regarding Gasquet, I never meant to imply that it is a shameful place. On the contrary, I can completely understand why certain kinds of people want to live in a rural area in a beautiful part of the world. However, being raised in a rural place can be a different story. As a kid, I was filled with wonder at the nature all around me, but I felt completely isolated from my peers. I did have some interesting friends that came and went over the years, but I have to say - every family or person I knew were all coming from some other place, often, "escaping, " from something, someone, some situation. People escaping other people and ending up in a loose-knit community in the redwoods. I digress: the coolest time I spent in Gasquet was in the late 1970s. My family moved there in December 1975, about a month after my dad died. My mom, I can remember, was sighing a lot and consulting with her business associates about buying a house somewhere in rural Del Norte county. We were living temporarily in Smith River in a rather funky trailer/house combination. My mom tended to fall in love with homes that were of older construction and had unique qualities. She ended up buying the old Gasquet School house, a giant, cavernous house divided in 2 large sections, formerly classrooms I assume. Long and rectangular with giant redwood beam construction, the house was drafty but solid. The entire main dining room / living room was large and lodge-like, with high ceilings and 7 or 8 large windows along one wall, a large fireplace - later a insert stove - on one end. The other half of the house was divided into 5 bedrooms of varying sizes, a laundry room and a bathroom. The laundry room dead-ended in a pantry-sized hallway. This was my room, only big enough for my bed and alien sci-fi books. I digress: When my family moved to Gasquet, we landed in a cool little town with a fair-sized population of kids of all ages. It didn't really stay that way in the 1980s. The 70s in Gasquet were ruled by factions of rowdy youth partiers from several different families. At the least, that is how I remember it as a young kid. I was surrounded by my 3 older brothers and 1 older sister. They knew everyone in town and everyone knew us Coles. My brother Mike, 3d from the oldest in my family, was well known in this part of the world. He was a natural leader of a certain kind of tribe, the kind of tribe that exists in the Mountain Dew commercial Gasquet of my fuzzy memories, a tribe of regular, American dudes living the wholesome, mischief-laden, dope smokin', possibly thievin, small-town existence. All the dudes that were Mike's friends - guys with names like Bruce, Brett, Bob, Dan, Mike and Rocky, girls with names I can no longer remember - were typically rowdy but nice, often hanging out at, "The Forks, " the popular river spot, doing their thing, loudly, jumping off cliffs and hyperventilating for a cheap buzz. Drug use - there was plenty, and plenty of gas and glue-huffing as well. Off-roading in Datsuns and VW bugs - check. Siphoning fuel from airplanes for a high-octane kick for your Nova? - check. Running through the woods at night, tripping balls on 'shrooms - check. Fun stuff to witness, and somewhat disconcerting, but that was what was going down. Of course, my sister and other bros knew all these folks too, but Mike seemed like the head of the pack. I can remember tooling around town with my brother, going up to visit friends that lived on Gasquet loop road while riding on the back of dirt bikes, getting in car crashes every now and then, playing my first video games and first hearing, "new wave," music, like Blondie, on local turntables, all the while my bro sneakin' off to go smoke weed with his friends, always leaving me with Rush records to listen to or Atari 2600 games to play with, always Asteroids. I wish I could let drop some of the more salacious gossip of the times, but I don't want to incriminate anyone - although I'm sure the statute of limitations is long over for petty crimes of the sort that I was witness to. Stolen beer, siphoned gas, joyrides, petty theft, vandalism. I wasn't party to any of it at the time - of course I was much too young - but I have to say, it colored my outlook on life, somehow imparted a thieves' perspective on my psyche. I'm thankful that I was never witness to any truly bad shit - no white drugs, prostitution or domestic violence - not like so many of my friends, but there was a wild, permissive vibe in the air during the era. Our parents were distracted with the free, freaky, swinging 70s. We got away with entirely too much, but some of course, paid the price anyway. Next time: why Steve Miller Band wrote the soundtrack to the summer of my youth, Edward J Colesier
Thursday, January 26, 2012
(image of Smith River courtesy of Google.com)
I never actually wanted to write about Gasquet, at least for the longest time I’ve avoided it. I still have some ties there, but not so much that I really care anymore about the truth getting out about the quaint/sketchy little village on the Smith River in Nor Cal. I have a mixture of pride and shame in regards to my longest-time hometown association with Gasquet and greater Del Norte County. Pride because the area is unique and beautiful, shame because of… well , I’m not really sure why. Del Norte County is like a little corner of Alaska that got dropped on the Northern California coast. It feels remote there, roughly equidistant between San Francisco and Portland, roughly equidistant between Eureka, California and Grant’s Pass, Oregon. The population is small and comes in one of several dominant categories – 1. poor, working class, mostly white. 2. Yurok and Talawa Indian tribes living on their respective reservations. 3. Cannibas cultivators. 4. Law enforcement professionals (and/or Forest Service professionals, Cal trans etc…) 5. Unemployed, formerly working poor, often Meth-addicted folks and of course, 6. Everyone Else. I spent most of my formative school years in Del Norte, off and on, from kindergarten through my Senior year in high school, and I was one of those who desperately wanted out, and when the time came I left at a high rate of speed. But, that isn’t to say that I don’t have fond memories of my rural upbringing. For starters, there is Gasquet itself. Initially a resort village located on a flat area of the Smith River Valley, the town was founded sometime around the turn of the 20th century by a man named Horace Gasquet. The heyday of the town was probably the 1950s, when several trailer parks and a motel catered to the middle-class vacationers of the day. The best feature in the old days was the Gasquet store and The Rusty Nail bar, which as far as I know was most happening from the 1950s through early 1980s. Here is a pic from a fellow named DBerry's flickr stream of the store in all it's 50's glory:
Next time around, I will set forth with more sordid tales of Gasquet in the late 1970's, when teenaged partiers ran amok and brought with them pop culture artifacts from the bigger cities that their parents moved from. It was a happening time, with cut-off shorts, pancake breakfasts at the Veterans Hall, Peter Frampton hairdos and Cheap Trick, the Cars and ELO blasting out of Camaro 8 track players at every turn.
TO BE CONTINUED
Monday, January 23, 2012
Macro Blawg: I’m at the end of my lunch. I am at a desk, in front of a plastic rectangle with many, many square buttons on it, in front of another glowing rectangle. A cup of tepid, brown fluid is settled in a ceramic vessal with the letters “E, d” emblazoned on the side. Many important inputs are entering my brain via my senses – but this blawg is an output, so let me translate now to you: the new album from Stew and the Negro Problem is on my player, coming into my ears and I will tell you that it hits the spot. When I think of reality, I think of the awful, banal things that force their way into my life everyday – working at a “job”, commuting around the town with all the other beings, dealing with Godawful Assholes (tm) and the rules they want to impose on everyone, financial pressures of being on the outside of “The Game.” Right at this moment, none of that matters. What matters – what seems “real”, is Stew and Heidi’s music, which somehow, almost always, hits that spot reserved for the most Real of the Real.